Friday, November 27, 2009

The Intel Itanium is tottering towards death, analyst reckons

A report from senior analyst Jon Peddie suggests that Intel's 64 bit flagship microprocessor, the Itanium, is dead in the water. So is it a turkey?

In his latest musings, Peddie, the CEO of Jon Peddie Research, said that the "Itanium is trying to sneak out the back door." He said that when he was at the annual Supercomputing conference in Portland, there were no Itanium related announcements.

Read Full Article Here:

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Montecito Overview

Up to 8 socket glueless. – Higher scalability with OEM chipsets. • System integration and new system interfaces. – Integrated Memory Controllers and Router.

Link to PDF Here:

Friday, November 20, 2009

HP, SGI, Cray and Dell Show Off New Systems at Supercomputing 2009

Industry-standard technology, GPUs and energy efficiency were among the key themes running throughout the Supercomputing 2009 show in Portland, Ore. At the show, which wraps up Nov. 20, a number of vendors, including Cray, Dell, HP and SGI, showed off new and enhanced high-end systems, many of which are designed to enable businesses and HPC (high-performance computing) environments to ramp up performance and density while driving down operational, capital and power costs. In addition, Intel unveiled that it will offer a "Nehalem EX" Xeon processor optimized for supercomputing, while the chip maker boasted that 402 of the top 500 fastest supercomputers in the world are powered by its processors. Rival AMD took the No. 1 spot, with the Opteron-powered "Jaguar" computer from Cray knocking off IBM's "RoadRunner" at the top of the list. Here are a few of the new systems OEMs showed off at the show. 

Link To Article Here:

SGI previews UltraViolet Nehalem EX blade clusters

Like the Altix 4700 machines, the Altix UV boxes are based on a blade architecture. The Nehalem EX chips are designed to be used in servers with four sockets or more, and its related Boxboro chip can be used to make glueless eight-socket servers packing up to 64 cores in a single symmetric multiprocessing image. But there is no law that says you have to build a basic blade with four sockets.

Link to Article Here:

Cray Jaguar Takes Top Supercomputer Spot from IBM Roadrunner

After more than a year as the world’s fastest supercomputer, IBM’s Roadrunner system was knocked down to the second spot by Cray’s Jaguar. Cray’s XT5 system got a boost when the computer maker swapped out the quad-core AMD Opterons for the six-core “Istanbul” chips, ramping up the power to more than 224,000 processing cores. Sun and SGI also were represented in the top 10 of the Top500 list of the fastest systems.

Link To Article:

SGI Intros Supercomputer With Intel Nehalem EX

SGI Intros Supercomputer With Intel Nehalem EX

The SGI Altix UV high-performance computing system reaches 18.6 teraflop per second.

By Antone Gonsalves
November 17, 2009 02:43 PM

SGI HPC System With Intel (NSDQ: INTC) Nehalem EXSGI has introduced a high-performance computing system that can leverage Intel's eight-core Xeon server processor, scheduled to ship early next year.

The SGI Altix UV, unveiled Monday at the SC09 supercomputer conference in Portland, Ore., is targeted at large-scale databases and data analytic environments. The system can combine Intel's highest core chip, codenamed Nehalem EX, with SGI's NUMAlink 5 interconnect to deliver its highest performance of 18.6 teraflop per second. A teraflop is a trillion calculations.

Read Full Article Here:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The inside track on Nehalem-EX

Intelligent and Expandable High-End Intel® Server Platform, Codenamed Nehalem-EX

As the world’s most widely deployed server, IT has grown to rely on Intel® Xeon® processors for their energy-efficient performance, reliability, and virtualization capabilities built into the hardware. And at this year’s Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco, Intel Senior Fellow Stephen Pawlowski took the stage to discuss the next-generation expandable segment server processor, codenamed Nehalem-EX (PDF 205KB). In production in the second half of 2009, its performance increase will be dramatic, posting the highest-ever jump from a previous generation processor1. Nehalem-EX will feature up to eight cores inside a single chip supporting 16 threads and 24 MB of cache. For server consolidation,virtualization, cloud computing, data demanding applications, and other technical computing environments, Nehalem-EX greatly improves scalable performance, memory bandwidth and capacity, flexibility, and provides advanced reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS) features.

Download the Full PDF Here:

Friday, November 6, 2009

BMW using Nehalem-EX to save money and boost performance!


BMW is also set to switch 1,000 servers to the yet to be released Nehalem EX. For the refresh of two- and four-socket Xeon platform servers, the firm compared EX servers to other suppliers.

“From that, what we got is a smaller energy footprint of four socket with Nehalem than with the existing platform,” he said.

He added the EX lets BMW double its virtualisation ratio, from 10 to 15 virtual machines per server to 20 to 30.

“We think we will order bigger servers in future years as virtualisation is key for our data centre as we have the same power problems,” as faced by many, he said, adding that virtualiation and other efficiencies with Nehalem EX cuts consumption by a third – saving 100,000 euros a year on power use alone.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Could IBM be building "glueless" eight-socket systems?

Long time chip industry observer, Eachus, speculates on The Motley Fool:

Hmm. Even in the Intel presentation you linked, slide 15 talks about IBM's 5th generation X series chipset. I do expect IBM to sell standard 4xNehalem-EX boxes, but I think they will use their own chipset in larger systems. Could IBM just be designing an I/O chip of their own, and be building "glueless" eight-socket systems? Possible, but IBM has a lot of institutional knowledge about building multiCPU systems with various CPU ISAs. I'm fairly sure that they would take one look at Beckton and conclude that their existing technology could support two Beckton chips with a little work to convert to what is now called Quickpath. We are talking a few man-years to add Quickpath to their current X-4 chip, vs. hundreds of man years for a complete redesign. Which would you choose? ;-)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Intel Previews Intel Xeon® 'Nehalem-EX' Processor

This new platform from Intel is going to enable so many possibilities!!!

8x8 servers?  Wow!

Intel set to release 8-Socket Glueless platform in early 2010

The demos they were interested were the Nehalem 4-socket demos. They wanted to see this 8-core and 2.3 billion transistors platform and the applications that leverage this 32-core machine. This is an amazing new Intel platform targeted to be released in early 2010. OEM can design 2-socket to 8 socket Nahelem-EX platform gluelessly, and higher configuration with their own node controllers. Currently, we are expecting 15 8-socket and above configuration systems from 8 OEMs to come to the market at launch.

From the Server Room Blog:

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

AMD Horus

From Wikipedia:

The Horus system, designed by Newisys for AMD, was created to enable AMD Opteron machines to extend beyond the current limit of 8-way (CPU sockets) architectures. The Opteron CPUs feature a cache-coherent HyperTransport (ccHT) bus to permit glueless, multiprocessor interconnect between physical CPU packages but as there is a maximum of three ccHT interfaces per chip, the systems are limited to a maximum of 8 sockets. The HyperTransport bus is also distance restricted and does not permit off-system interconnect.

The Horus system overcomes these limitations by creating a pseudo-Opteron, the Horus chip, which connects to four real Opterons via the HyperTransport bus. As far as the Opterons are concerned they are in a five-way system and this is the basic Horus node (as called 'quad'). The Horus chip then provides an additional off-board interface (based around the Infiniband standards) which can link to additional Horus nodes (up to 8). The chip handles the necessary translation between local and off-board ccHT communications. By putting the CPUs around the Horus chip with 12-bit lanes running at 3125 MHz with InfiniBand technology (8b/10b encoding), this system has an effective internal speed of 30 Gbit/s.

With 8 'quads' connected together, each with the maximum of four Opteron sockets per node, the Horus system allows a total of 32 CPU sockets in a single machine. Dual and future quad-core chips will also be supported, allowing a single system to scale to over a hundred processing cores.